Activity Idea: Personal Finance In My Life

My travels took me to Chicago and New York recently and here are some images related to personal finance that I captured:

  • Thanks to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for recently co-hosting the Financial Literacy Summit with VISA. I enjoyed moderating the panel on Expanding Access to Financial Education Programs (video for Session 6  here):


  • Would you take tax advice from a “tax truck?” Seen on the streets of New York the weekend before Tax Day:

What Are The Five Most Valuable Brands In The World?

From BrandFinance:

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What’s the Catch?: Purchase 3 Bureau Reports

I saw this paid ad during a Google Search this evening:

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Hmmm…so what caught my eye? The “Purchase 3 Bureau Reports.” Many of you are probably wondering “Why purchase these reports when you can get credit reports from each of the three bureaus for FREE at ” and “Why would you want to buy them at the same time?” A best practice is to space out your FREE credit reports from the three credit bureaus every four months so you can be constantly monitoring them. To make matters even more confusing (or some might say misleading) the ad says in bold at the top “No Credit Card Needed” so why would I have to purchase something that is available for FREE elsewhere.

Click on “Purchase 3 Bureau Reports” and here’s what you get:

By |February 14th, 2017|Advertising, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Current Events|

In My Personal Finance Life: Want A FICO Score With That Free Credit Report?

It’s a new year which makes it a good time to review your credit report. I went to, answered a few questions to verify my identity and proceeded to my credit report. As I completed my review, I couldn’t help but notice the offer about getting my credit score (can you say cross-selling opportunity?). When I clicked on the button…

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What’s the catch?

By |January 15th, 2017|Advertising, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Current Events, Research|

Know Thy Source: Rule #1 in Digital Literacy


Those who use NGPF resources know that we place a premium on teaching students how to navigate the web, discern credible sources of information and do the research required to make sound financial decisions. Occasionally we get pushback that our content should be “commercial free” and that linking to an online article that has ads anywhere on the page is “commercial” and students should not be subjected such distraction. Newsflash: The Internet has gone commercial. All that free content has to be paid for somehow. Isn’t it better that we teach students to be skeptical, critical thinkers about advertising instead of pretending that they can wall themselves off in an ad-free world. 

Question: What Data Is Being Collected About YOU?

Hat tip to Visual Capitalist which posted this MBA@UNC infographic (click the link to see the full infographic):

Activity Idea: Personal Finance Around Me

Here’s an activity idea for your Instagram-obsessed students. Have them take pictures of personal finance that they notice in their everyday lives. Here are a few I came across this weekend while wandering around the Bay Area:

  • In the new world of work, many choose to have a “side hustle (here’s the NGPF podcast with Ash Cash who popularized the term and a recent post on the topic),” an additional source of income. Here’s a sign I saw at a Re-Maker faire in San Francisco:

Mini-Activity: Evaluating Credit Card Rewards Programs

Thanks to Sean McQuay of NerdWallet for a great conversation yesterday about credit cards. Look for it posted to NGPF Podcasts next week. He was discussing one of the cards he reviews which gave me an idea for a mini-activity in which students think about how best to redeem credit card rewards.  The card in question, the Citi DoubleCash Card, has the following terms:

Discover Citi’s best cash back credit card. The Citi Double Cash card is a cash back card that rewards you with cash back TWICE with 1% unlimited on purchases + 1% as you pay for those purchases. Learn why this has become one of Citi’s top cash back credit cards.

What Sean found attractive about this card was the fact it offers 2% cash back (1% on purchases and 1% on payments for those purchases) and it has no limits. This  makes it quite a bit simpler than those reward programs that offer different cash back percentages based on the spending category and often have limits also.

Here’s an ad that includes details about the cards and provides a sense of the marketing pitch: